The enemy of my enemy is my friend. – Sanskrit proverb
So a couple of weeks ago, this item hit the internet:
…The sex industry should be fully decriminalised, the Westminster based Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) said in a new report. The IEA argues that existing attempts to restrict prostitution are “ineffective, ill-informed and a waste public money”…The…report says rules that criminalise sellers directly, or criminalise third parties who supply them with services, simply push the sex industry underground, increasing the risks for sex workers. “The very concept of prostitution is no longer workable in today’s fluid sexual markets, where anyone can meet anyone, on whatever terms they choose,” said report author Catherine Hakim. “Decriminalisation is the only workable way forward. The proposal to copy Sweden and criminalise customers in the sex trade is a complete waste of public money, unforgiveable in a time of austerity”…
One would think this news would’ve been welcomed by activists; every additional voice calling for decriminalization not only adds to the chorus, but also increases the chance that any given politician will be in direct contact with one of those voices. But was that what happened? Nope. Instead, I saw numerous voices declaring that the cause of sex worker rights “doesn’t need” this support because the IEA endorsed decriminalization for the “wrong reasons”. You know, kind of like prostitution is criminalized because it’s sex for the “wrong reasons”. But it wasn’t just one “wrong reason”; oh, no! As I’ve explained before, neofeminists do not like Catherine Hakim, because she says things like this:
The report by the social scientist Catherine Hakim says that international surveys have demonstrated a large gap in sexual desire between men and women which “cannot be dismissed as an outdated patriarchal myth as argued by some feminists”. Dr Hakim says the “sexual deficit” between men and women “helps to explain many puzzles, including why men are the principal customers for commercial sexual entertainments of all kinds…male demand for sexual entertainments…is…growing, and ineradicable”, she concludes. She says the available evidence suggests that prostitution and pornography have no damaging social impact and may even help reduce sex crime. Dr Hakim says: “Spain, where prostitution is legal, also has exceptionally low rates of rape”…
These statements should not be controversial to any whore, yet for some people common sense and personal experience are always trumped by “feminist” dogma, despite the fact that most people who adopt that self-identifier are our implacable enemies.
Sex worker activists who care more about “feminist” nonsense than about our cause, or who think that we have the luxury of working only with would-be allies who can pass some sort of ideological purity test, need to get the hell out of sex worker rights activism; they are sleeping with the enemy and cannot be trusted to do what is necessary to advance our struggle. This is a war, not a game; our enemies use tactics specifically intended to expose us to police violence and starve us to death if we manage to escape that. They are perfectly willing to make whatever alliances are necessary to advance their cause, and to employ doomsday weapons that cause widespread collateral damage, yet some of the people on our side still treat this as a jolly game in which the identity of one’s playmates is far more important than the outcome. If that’s the way you feel, please go home and find another cause; we need allies who will actually help us, not cliquish schoolgirls who want to turn down three-quarters of our potential allies because they’re boys, have cooties, wear unfashionable clothes or live in the wrong part of town. Anyone who is willing to watch the bodies of her sisters continue to pile up because she’s too prissy to sit down at a table with people whose philosophies differ from hers is helping the prohibitionists, and that makes her a liability at best and an enemy at worst. But anyone who speaks up for the decriminalization of sex work is the enemy of prohibitionists, and that makes her my friend and ally.